Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, has fled Sri Lanka on a military jet amid mass protests over the country’s economic crisis. The nation’s air force confirmed that the 73-year-old flew to the Maldives with his wife and two security officials. The president has pledged to resign by July 13, 2022, but an official resignation letter is yet to be received. The article contains President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Fled Sri Lanka on Military Jet.
In the absence of the president, he has appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as acting president. Mr. Wickremesinghe announced a state of emergency and told the military to restore order as protesters stormed his office and demanded that he also resign. His departure ends a family dynasty that has dominated Sri Lanka’s politics for the past two decades. The president had been hiding after crowds stormed his residence on July 9, 2022. His arrival in the Maldives, an island chain southwest of Sri Lanka, led to protests there, too, with some urging the Maldivian government to stop providing a haven to the fleeing president.
A source said that Mr. Rajapaksa will not remain in the Maldives and intends to travel to a third country. His sibling, Former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, has also left Sri Lanka and is said to be heading to the US. As Sri Lankans awoke to Mr. Rajapaksa’s departure, thousands of people took to the streets of Colombo’s capital. Many people gathered at Galle Face Green, the city’s protest area. Some listened to fiery speeches at a makeshift stage for ordinary people to take the mic.
Punctuated by cries of Victory to the struggle, the rallying cry of the protest movement, speakers railed against the government and the leaders they feel have failed them. Also, police fired tear gas to disperse a group of protesters near the prime minister’s office. However, they managed to storm the office and other state buildings. Many protesters stated that they will continue their demonstrations until both leaders have resigned from the government. Some demonstrators were also furious about Mr. Rajapaksa’s departure, seeing a lack of accountability.
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